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    Old 11-29-2004, 01:09 PM   #1
    Amy2838
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    Question Finding a purpose in life

    Having had ADD all my life (undiagnosed until recently) I have spent my entire life just trying to keep my head above water. I see other people who have grown up, and seem to gravitate toward some particular life-goal, and they become drawn in a certain direction in their lives. This has not happened for me. I stumbled through college, choosing the path of least resistance, I got married to the first guy I ever dated, and a year later we had a baby. I left my frustrating and unfullfilling job in a mutual quit/fire to stay at home and raise my son (now 2 years old) which I enjoy, but am totally inept as a housewife. I find I am still adrift with no purpose or goals, so it is hard for me to move forward, even now that I KNOW I have ADD.

    I recently read "Healing ADD" by Thom Hartmann, in which he talked about finding your purpose in life so you can set definable goals. (He also talked about using mental visualization and mediTation to "heal" your ADD, but I can't hold an image in my mind's eye for more than a second and it's never very clear. He also says that mediCation is a cop-out that doctors use, but I disagree. I think meds can help IF used in combination with therapy and learning new life-management techniques.) ANYWAY, he goes on and on about how important it is to find your purpose, but he never really tells you how. He gave an anectdote about how he led one woman to find her "inner self" but that doesn't help ME!!!

    I grew up in a Christian home, and I consider myself a Christian, but I find "spirituality" a difficult concept to grasp. MediTation is difficult for me since I have trouble concentrating, and prayers seem to always end up a rambling mess. This has been troubling to me, since it is a basic truth I have grown up believing since childhood. I suppose it would be the same in any religion, since meditation and prayer are usually involved (wry smile.)

    I was just wondering if any of you have experienced this particular difficulty...well it's two difficulties, really, but they tie together I think.
    1. Have you been able to find you life-purpose?
    2. Do you struggle with your spirituality because of attention problems? (not faith-that has nothing to do with attention...just spirituality in general)

    Amy

    Last edited by Amy2838; 11-29-2004 at 01:22 PM. Reason: Needed to add personal background information

     
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    Old 11-29-2004, 01:55 PM   #2
    rockon
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    WOW!!! You sound just like me! Although I've never been diagnosed with ADD; people always question wether or not I am. You actually put into words what I never could! I struggle with eveything, have difficulty concentrating and staying focused. I have not found my lifes purpose,it's something I think about daily!! Ive never been able to focus on self help books, I should be in therapy, but finances are a problem now. Just talking with others who feel the same way could really help!

     
    Old 11-30-2004, 12:32 AM   #3
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    I haven't tried the meditation thing but have tried medication to no avail. I've been on Adderall, Dexadrine, and Ritalin and didn't notice a difference with any of them. I'm 48 and still drifting along in life with no purpose. I stayed home with our son and daughter and now our son is out of the house on his own and having problems of his own (we also went through heck raising him), and our daughter also has ADD but at least she's doing okay in college (he flunked out). It's sad, he's smart but maybe will end up like me, but I hope not. My husband and I weren't getting along for the longes time because of having to put up with my ADD ways. I know it's not easy living with me and my messes, temperament, emotional outbursts, depression, losing things, etc. I could almost write a book. I've read several books on ADD and can certainly relate to those people mentioned in the books and see the symptoms of ADD in me, but it's not like they really gave me a solution. I've gone to counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists. Most of those were before I was diagnosed with ADD (only a few years ago). The lady psychologist who diagnosed my ADD has helped me the most, but even so, I'm still getting nowhere. I know my husband gets upset because I haven't been contributing to the household finances and we're getting further and further into credit card debt. We could buy a new car with what we owe, and that's a lousy feeling. I wake up every day thinking what's the point! I just can't figure out what it is I want to do in life. I feel like I'm just taking up space! I even attempted to go to work and signed up with a temp agency a few months ago. They assigned me to a children and youth services office answering phones, typing, making copies, putting calls through to caseworkers, paging them if they weren't in the office, letting people in the door (opened by buzzing them in). I found the job so overwhelming I thought I'd lose my mind. I was supposed to be there for a week or two and ended up there for NINE LONG WEEKS! I was going to my doctor, psychologist, and chiropractor for all of my problems that I was having because of the stress of dealing with the job. I'm not a multi-tasker. The phone rang so much and would interrupt me and I'd get so off-track and get flustered and have what I would call mini-panic attacks where I would sweat and not be able to think or see what was in front of me. It was horrible! I actually hung in there until they did find a permanent worker for the job but don't know how much longer I'd have been able to tolerate it. I'm just starting to get the idea that I'll never find anything! Then when I said to the woman at the temp agency that I didn't want any more jobs answering phones, she made a comment something like, "Oh, then you really only want data entry." Maybe it was just me, but I got the idea that she thought that I was less of a person because I can't even do such a 'simple' thing as answering phones. Well, I don't know if I'd mind one line or not. I had to handle 3 phone lines and would get soooo confused! Anyway, sorry for going on and on, I'm just really at my wit's end and don't know where to turn anymore. Just when I think there's hope, I feel like I'm kicked in the stomach once again. I'm just treading water, not getting anywhere and it's so discouraging to feel this way. Don't feel bad if you don't feel on the right track yet; you certainly aren't alone. The real kicker for me is that I did well in school (probably worked 10 times harder than others), graduated third in my class, and was voted most likely to succeed. Yeah right, like I'm doing that...not! I went to college and graduated with a teaching degree, substituted a few months, hated it, and never did it again. I really do feel like a failure, plain and simple. I hope you have better luck in life than I have had. Maybe you will have better circumstances and opportunities than I have had. If you wouldn't be married, I'd say try to find someone with money (maybe I should have and didn't); that way at least if you don't find anything you like to do, you won't be drowning in debt all your life.

    Last edited by comeonnow; 11-30-2004 at 12:38 AM.

     
    Old 12-02-2004, 05:42 AM   #4
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    My story is very similar. I breezed through college (taking only classes that interested me to assure A's), got married, had children, yet at 32 I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I went on adderall for several months and it did increase my focus and energy but I also felt it changed my personality and made me less creative, so I quit after four months. I look at it this way; I may not have one longstanding goal in life but when I die I will die knowing that I got to experience ALOT of everything. So far I'm a mother and wife, I've been a student, worked in the medical field, a landscape designer, manager of a video store, leasing consultant, jewlery sales, folk artist, ebay entrapeneur, scuba diver, and the list goes on. Sure I may change careers three times a year but while the income may not be steady I do get to spend a lot of time with my kids and I get to have fun with my disorganized life!

     
    Old 12-02-2004, 10:00 AM   #5
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    Hi Amy,
    That is kind of interesting about you asking about finding a purpose in life and you are a Christian.
    I was wondering if you have heard or read the book "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren?
    It is an excellent book. I am a Christian also and our church just went through 40 days of purpose.
    I also have problems focusing and I have to really work on it. I have problems listening to lectures because before I know it my mind is drifting off thinking of other things.
    You might want to check this book out...it might give you a different view on things.

     
    Old 12-02-2004, 12:33 PM   #6
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    Welcome to the club of those of us who are Watching and Waiting and Seeking and Wondering and Searching and Questioning.......

    You are not alone. I am 40 years old, diagnosed with ADD in my 30's. Have yet to get married due to poor choices in the past. Never stayed at a job too long so my "career" never took off. And am feeling totally lost more so now than in the past.

    I have struggled with spirituality too...not so much the God concept as "religion". It's overwhelming. I refuse to attend church because of all the activities they expect you to be a part of, do, participate in, etc.

    That book you are speaking of sounds kinda "new agey" to me. I question those who undermine the use of medication.

    If ONLY we could heal our ADD with only nutirition, yoga, diet, hopping on one leg twice a day or saying a few "Ommmmmmmmmm"s here and there....but then there wouldn't be a need for this board.

     
    Old 12-02-2004, 01:42 PM   #7
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    Vintage Wine,
    Who is undermining medication?
    Not me.
    I am 54 yrs old and I am not sure what new agey is?
    I know that the book has helped me look at life more in a positive way rather than look at life negatively.
    I know what you mean about all the participation in church but you don't really have to if you don't want to. But some people enjoy it.

     
    Old 12-02-2004, 02:15 PM   #8
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    Well, Amy was saying in her post that the author of that book said that medication was a "cop out".....I took that to mean he was undermining the use of medication as a treatment for ADD. Yes, in some, they are able to treat it all naturally. They are the lucky ones. But in others, all natural isn't consistent. I tried the homeopathic, Yoga, etc. route and though I benefitted in other physical areas from those things, the ADD spun out of control and I decided to get back on the amphetamines....much to the criticism and hostility of my "supporting" family.

     
    Old 12-02-2004, 02:45 PM   #9
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    Sorry Vintage,
    I was not sure who you were speaking to. I must have a bad case of undiagnosed ADD. LOL
    After reading some of these post I think I realize now that I might have had it all my life. I always use to tease people about myself having attention deficit disorder when I didn't quite understand what they were talking about.
    My mind would drift off thinking of other things when people would talk to me...and especially if I was not interested.

     
    Old 12-05-2004, 09:30 PM   #10
    Amy2838
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    Ha ha ha! Y'all are cracking me up! Talking about 2 different books in the same thread is WAY too confusing! LOL

    Mariepom: I've heard of that book "The Purpose Driven Life" but I'm not one to do a lot of religious reading. My mom is reading "The Purpose Driven Church" and I'm guessing it is by the same author. I just get irked when reading those kind of books. In my opinion, (and that is all it is, so please don't get offended) most Christian books focus too much on...well, I don't know the word for it...long-standing traditions that were probably started in the Dark Ages that don't really have a lot to do with the "original" religion at all. They're all so "churchy!" LOL, I don't mean to be offensive, please forgive me! Anyway (ADD moment, I'll get back on topic now) I'm more interested in the very VERY basic aspects of Christianity, and not so much the more complicated ideas that have arisen in the last 2000 years. What kind of topics does this book discuss? I may read it, if you think it's pretty basic.

    Vintage Wine, you're right. That book I mentioned "Healing ADD" was a bit new agey! I had to just "glaze" over some of the paragraphs from time to time, because I was like "What is he TALKING about???" But over-all I really enjoyed the book. Even though he took a pretty harsh stand against medication (I glazed over that part too!) it was a good read, and very encouraging. He had some really interesting scientific facts in there that I found fascinating. If I was able to do those visualization techniques he suggested, I think they would be very helpful. For instance, he gave an example of how visualizing a picture of a llama with the acual WORD llama over the picture, then reading the letters forward, then backward, was almost 100% effective in teaching kids how to spell the word. (this was just an example of how visualization works, there are more ADD specific exercizes later on) Anyway, my problem is, I can sort of make a fuzzy picture of a llama, and I can sort of make a fuzzy picture of the word, but I can NOT picture the two thing together at the same time, and I sure as heck can't pick out the letters one by one, forward and backward as if it were on a page in front of my face! I go into "sitcom flashback mode" if I try it! LOL!

    Uh, you may have noticed that I write extremely l-o-o-o-ong posts! It takes me a long time to describe what I'm trying to say and finally make my point. Never thought of it before, but that "might" have something to do with ADD!

    Anybody else have some spirituality, visualization, or purpose-finding advice for me? I'm all ears!

    Amy

     
    Old 12-06-2004, 09:41 AM   #11
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    Hi Amy,
    I know that was pretty funny about the two books ha ha.
    I am not offended. And that book Purpose Driven Church is by the same Author Rick Warren. Maybe if you take a glimpse of your mothers book you could get an idea what the Purpose Driven Life is kind of like. I myself don't read religious books. Matter of fact this is the first book that I have read and I was very impressed. Well not the first book I read...I did try reading others but my add got in the way of finishing them LOL!
    These chapters in the book are short and all you need to do is read one chapter everyday. I really recommend it.
    It took my son going to church with the neighbors and wanting to get baptized to get me and my husband going.
    That was about 7 yrs ago. I use to think that all churches were the same........and they are not. That is why I never attended..because I didn't like the experience that I had when I was a child.
    But back to ADD........I really think that I have suffered from it for years and didn't even know it. I could read a book and not even remember what I just read and would have to go back and reread and try and stay focused on what I was reading because my mind would drift off thinking about other things before I realized it.

    Take Care
    Marie
    dark slate blue

    Last edited by mariepom; 12-06-2004 at 09:57 AM.

     
    Old 12-08-2004, 12:56 AM   #12
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    Re: Finding a purpose in life

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rockon
    WOW!!! You sound just like me! Although I've never been diagnosed with ADD; people always question wether or not I am. You actually put into words what I never could! I struggle with eveything, have difficulty concentrating and staying focused. I have not found my lifes purpose,it's something I think about daily!! Ive never been able to focus on self help books, I should be in therapy, but finances are a problem now. Just talking with others who feel the same way could really help!
    i'm curious why you have not been diagnosed? Have you not went in for test? I have not officially been diagnosed either. I just recently looked into it because I have always been treated for anxiety/depression but the medicine never helps and i think there is more to this also. I looked it up and hearing others talk about this made me so emotional i could not breathe. I had finally found an answer. It was like you all were living my life. I'm excited and wanting new friends to relate to.

     
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